As I wrote the other day as I attempted to catch up on life, FDIC is an incredible experience. If you haven't gone, save the money and go. From the Hands on Training, to the classroom sessions, to the keynote speeches to just the bagpipes and people you'll meet, it is by far the most humbling, and beneficial experience I have had in the Fire Service. I must start by saying, thank you to the IAFF Local 660 for allowing me to attend. The knowledge and connections made last week will benefit our members in everything we do.
Some of the people I met there write and instruct routinely for departments and journals nationwide, and seem to be larger than life. These guys are the big leaguers , the Peyton Mannings, the superstars of our job. We often say, man I'd love to meet that guy, or take a class from that guy. Well I did both in some cases, and the guys I met and learned from were no doubt the best in the business. The main difference between them and many of the local superstars I know was, all of them were normal down to earth firefighters.
The stair climb was another incredible part of the week. Never have I ever felt such a brotherhood and honor as I did there. Our own stair climb here at my department didn't have that same feel, but I plan on making it that way this year. Every person wished each other well, every person offered to help, and every person was there to honor the fallen. It was yet another humbling and incredible experience. I climbed for Patrick Waters, Captain Haz-Mat 1, and every time it got hard for me, I would yell his name to remind everyone why we there and who I was climbing specifically for.
Yet another great part of the week, was helping one member of the Fire Service Warrior movement to finish his first 5K and watch him complete the 110 floor stairclimb within 24 hours. This individual has made the decision to change his life because of the FSW movement and its Ethos. He and I exchanged some messages back and forth and I told him he was inspiring. I mean, I struggled with the climb and the 5K and I view myself as being in shape. This guy did it, and I asked him what's next?, because now he knows the sky is the limit. That summed up much of my experience for the week, I can change so much as one man, if I can infect others with some of the enthusiasm I have, it will spread through our department. If you haven't seen the Fire Service Warrior check it out here.
The entire experience can't be summarized for someone who hasn't been, but if you have it is always the same amount of enjoyment, encouragement, and fun.
It was a humbling experience all in all. I will attempt to summarize it more in the next few weeks, but I'm not sure that it is possible to put it into words. It was great to meet the few of the readers I met in Indy, and I look forward to seeing you again. In short, the experience re-energized me, and made my will stronger to affect positive (Key word) change in the departments I am a part of and to share the knowledge gained with those around me.
To see some pictures visit the Hosejockey Facebook Page.
Thanks for reading.